Saturday, September 8, 2018

Iolo Morganwg versus Citizen Robespierre

This pamphlet, published by the Socialist Labor Party (SLP), contains two short texts by Georgi Plekhanov, the so-called father of Russian Marxism. "How the bourgeoisie remembers its own revolution" is an analysis of the French revolution, first published in two instalments in 1890-91. The second text is titled "The Bourgeoisie, Anarchism and Socialism" and is excerpted from a more voluminous work, "Anarchism and Socialism". There is no particular connection between the two articles.

To be honest, the pamphlet is rather obscure and I review it mostly because I happen to have it in my somewhat eclectic private collection! That being said, Plekhanov's article on the French revolution (which defends the Jacobins against the criticism of one Paul Janet) is a relatively good introduction to the Marxist view of this particular event.

The piece on anarchism is of considerable less interest, although I noticed the following attack on some of my pet interests: "Alas, gentlemen, there is no ideal for walking corpses such as you! You will try everything. You will become Buddhists, Druids, Sârs, Chaldeans, Occultists, Magi, Theosophist, or Anarchists, whichever you prefer - and yet you will remain what you are now - beings without faith or principle, bags, emptied by history. The ideal of the bourgeoisie has lived".

Ouch, that hurt, Citoyen Plekhanov!

Both texts are also available free on the web.

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